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FMCSA proposes changes to hours-of-service rules for truckers

The hours-of-service rules set up by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have been controversial for some truck drivers and fleet owners in Missouri. However, the FMCSA announced in August 2018 that it may revise some of the rules. Now it is seeking input on these proposals, even holding public listening sessions in various locations. Below are the proposed changes.

The 100 air-mile short-haul exemption may be expanded from 12 hours on duty to 14. This is to make the regulation consistent with the rule for long-haul drivers. The FMCSA may also allow truckers who face adverse driving conditions to go up to two hours over the current limit of 14 on-duty hours.

The rule requiring a 30-minute rest after eight consecutive on-duty hours might also be revised. Lastly, the agency may reinstate the option to split up the 10-hour off-duty period among truckers with sleeper berth compartments.

In addition to the proposed rule changes, two petitions from outside sources also under consideration. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has petitioned to allow a rest period of up to three consecutive hours during truckers’ 14-hour shift. Furthermore, TruckerNation.org has called for giving truckers the option to split up their 10 off-duty hours into multiple rest periods of at least three hours. The FMCSA will be welcoming comments until September 24. The OOIDA has applauded the agency for its decisions.

Breaking the HOS rules could lead to truckers driving in a drowsy or inattentive frame of mind. Someone who survives a commercial truck accident caused by a drowsy driver may want to consult with a lawyer. The attorney could negotiate on a victim’s behalf for a fair settlement.